We often think of the beginning of a new year as a good time to clean up, start fresh, and cast off bad habits. Your hair and its accoutrements are no exception. There's no time like right now to take care of some hair housekeeping!

If your products are overrunning your bathroom, it might be time to purge. Susan Hale of ubeu, a professional organizing company, offers these tips for getting your product stash under control:

  1. The temptation may be to keep the products you're tried that don’t work, because “you never know.” Space is a valuable resource as well as the green stuff—spend it wisely.
  2. Resist the urge to save it all, and instead share the extras with your local women’s shelter. Consider tossing in a little note with the products you share about ways to use them.
  3. Store what you use regularly right there you get ready; a less-cluttered space makes it easier to bring out your beauty. Store the extras in one separate designated area.
flat ironKeep your heat appliances clean with these tips.

January is a good time to clean your heat appliances tools — they'll last longer and work more efficiently. And debris on a flat iron will cause hot spots on the plates and snags that can pull and break hair, causing ragged split ends. ProSilk recommends following a simple cleaning regimen that will protect your professional styling tools and yield better styling results.

Cleaning Supplies:

  • Cotton balls
  • Wooden cuticle stick
  • Soft cloths
  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Rubbing alcohol

Cleaning Instructions

  1. Prepare a small dish of warm soapy water (a drop or two of common liquid dish soap will work)
  2. Unplug tools (never immerse any electric tool in water, plugged or unplugged)
  3. Proceed to clean tools while they are still warm. It will be easier to clean off excess product before the iron has had time to cool, dry and solidify
  4. Dip the edge of your cotton ball in the soapy water solution and rub the plates or surfaces in a circular motion to distribute the warm water evenly on the build-up. Wait for a few minutes and let the water and soap solution loosen and dislodge stubborn build up.
  5. While you are waiting, carefully take the wooden cuticle stick and gently remove particles that have been packed into grooves and crevices of the tool. Do not force or jam the stick into any openings, as this may cause damage to the tool.

NOTE: Do not submerge tools in water, do not use abrasive cleaners (they will scratch and damage the surface) and do not use metal or sharp utensils.

After cleaning your tools, you may find that there is a slight film left from the water and soap solution. Take a cotton ball and a tiny amount of rubbing alcohol and wipe the film off the surface. Finish it with a swipe of the soft cotton cloth.

Following these simple tips will protect your tools and improve your finished styles.

If you're growing your hair out and are avoiding haircuts so you can hang on to every precious centimeter, it might be time to bite the bullet and get at least a trim, to clean up the ends and ensure your hair is looking its best. You might have a look at those roots, too, to see if it's time for a freshening.

Or maybe it's time for a whole new look! Check here for style ideas and then go here to find a curl specialist in your area.

Finally, be sure to check out CurlySuzy's blog about starting off 2010 with fresh, clean, clarified locks!